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Delta Revokes Ban on Emotional Support Animals for Long Flights but Still Won’t Allow Pit Bulls

Pit bulls aren’t welcome as service animals on Delta Air Lines. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Pit bulls aren’t welcome as service animals on Delta Air Lines. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

Delta Air Lines is revoking a year-old ban on bringing emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours. However, it will continue to ban pit bull dogs as on-board service or support animals — even though new federal guidelines forbid service animal limitations based on types of breeds.

Regarding pit bulls, the airline said it was concerned for the safety of passengers, crew and other service animals. The airline’s Monday statement said 40 cases of “aggressive animal behavior” occurred on its flights in 2018 (though it did not say how many were related to pit bulls).

“We continue to work with the [U.S. Department of Transportation] to find solutions that support the rights of customers who have legitimate needs to travel with trained animals,” said John Laughter, senior vice president of corporate safety, security and compliance.

Passengers who require service animals — defined as those trained to work or perform tasks for a disabled person, such as a guide dog — are allowed to bring dogs, cats and miniature horses for free on U.S. commercial flights. Rules may apply to the animal’s size and weight.

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